New Corporate Offence - Failing to prevent tax evasion

On 30 September 2017 Part 3 of the Criminal Finances Act 2017 came into force creating an offence for a body cooperate or partnership to fail to prevent their employees and agents from facilitating tax evasion in the UK and abroad.

This happens to be the same date that the HMRC and other tax authorities will obtain access to thousands of offshore account details which have previously been out of reach.

Between 2010 and 2015 the number of tax fraud prosecutions being brought increased by over 300% and prosecutions are only set to rise further.

Following the Panama Papers Scandal, HMRC is under the spotlight to drastically improve its performance in tackling tax evasion and to reduce the perception that the rich can get away with tax fraud.

Within the HMRC's 2015 - 2020 five year business plan, it has been pledged that they will invest approximately £800 million to tackle tax evasion and non-compliance. In addition to the smaller scale prosecutions, the HMRC aims to prosecute 100 wealthy individuals and cooperate entities every year by 2020.

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